chloe. yarn. June 02nd , 2018.
Synthetic fibers come in three basic forms: staple tow and filament. Staple is cut fibers generally sold in lengths up to 20mm. Tow is a continuous "rope" of fibers consisting of many filaments loosely joined side-to-side. Filament is a continuous strand consisting of anything from filament to many. Synthetic fiber is most often measured in a weight per linear measurement basis along with cut length. Denier and Dtex are the most common weight to length measures. Cut-length only applies to staple fiber.
When natural hair-type fibers are burned they tend to singe and have a smell of burnt hair; this is because many as human hair are protein-derived. Cotton and viscose (rayon) yarns burn as a wick. Synthetic yarns generally tend to melt though some synthetics are inherently flame-retardant. Noting how an unidentified fiber strand burns and smells can assist in determining if it is natural or synthetic and what the fiber content is.
Spun yarn is made by twisting staple fibres together to make a cohesive thread or "single."6 Twisting fibres into yarn in the process called spinning can be dated back to the Upper Paleolithic and yarn spinning was one of the very first processes to be industrialized. Spun yarns may contain a single type of fibre or be a blend of various types. Combining synthetic fibres (which can have high strength lustre and fire retardant qualities) with natural fibres (which have good water absorbency and skin comforting qualities) is very common. The most widely used blends are cotton-polyester and wool-acrylic fibre blends. Blends of different natural fibres are common too especially with more expensive fibres such as alpaca angora and cashmere.
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